The great automobile companies have historically been in the Detroit area. There’s no good reason for that, seems to me. It’s cold up there. But the big company plants are there, along with scads of ancillary manufacturers, services, and the like. Detroit isn’t the Motor City for nothing. The area functioned as a magnet for all things related to automobiles.
It has been reported that five of the top ten sending churches for Southern Baptists are in the Raleigh/Durham/Wake Forest area. A comprehensive analysis of why wasn’t reported but it would be an easy guess that Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is a magnet for those looking to serve overseas.
The article noted that IMB leader Paul Chitwood was the source of this fact about sending churches. The five churches in the area are: Summit Church, North Wake Church, Imago Dei Church, Providence Baptist Church, and Open Door Church.
SEBTS is self-designated as a “Great Commission Seminary.” Their “Go” or “I am going…” publicity (I don’t know if it has an official name) is ubiquitous in Southern Baptist life. It seems to be a sending culture.
As an aside, make a note that only one of these churches retains “Baptist” as a part of their church name. Sign of our times, I suppose.
One might also presume that many of the individuals who count one of the five as their “sending” church arrived in the Raleigh Durham area to attend SEBTS came from smaller churches all over. That’s the way our cooperative, mission sending system works. We celebrate the whole of it.
Chitwood said that there are currently 3,660 active missionaries, and the IMB is preparing to send more, with a goal of adding 500 additional personnel by 2025. I understand him to mean that IMB intends to have about a 100 per year net increase annually for the coming half decade.
And, how’s your Lottie Moon offering going? This would be a good year to set a new record.
Ideally, we would celebrate any positive SBC news. I found that the data showing 5 of the top 10 sending churches to be in a small geographic area, proximate to SEBTS to be an interesting fact. Such doesn’t diminish the other six seminaries.